This week are you sharing tips on how to have the traditional wedding reception – an evening reception with a dinner.
For this type of reception, the biggest tool in your toolbox is your negotiation skills. You must remember that when dealing with vendors you are doing a business transaction. With that you need to be comfortable negotiating the price of everything. These vendors are in the business to make money. Your job is to have the wedding you want within your budget. It is our experience that the vendors to operate on a sizeable enough profit margin to lower their rates from their introductory proposal and still make a profit. When negotiating always remain calm, kind and professional. Remember this is a business transaction, and it is best to check your emotions at the door.
Take their initial price and talk to them about the areas where they can go lower. Get specific with the prices you would be comfortable paying. And, be prepared for some give and take. Negotiations are never one sided. In the end we are confident you will get the majority of what you want and save a considerable chunk of money.
Also, if you find you aren’t comfortable negotiating with your vendors, this is a service Your Perfect Bridesmaid offers. We have found that the amount of money we can save by negotiating on behalf of our clients more than pays for our fee. Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about how we can save you money.
In addition to negotiating, you can make other choices to save money. While these are not hard and fast rules, in our experience we have found these “rules” to apply more often then not.
Sliming down your guest list is the best way to save money ( a lot of money) – period!
It is more affordable to have your reception on Friday or Sunday night then on Saturday.
It is more affordable to go with a menu featuring seasonal food then food not in season.
It is more affordable to have a buffet dinner then a plated meal.
It is more affordable to serve beer and wine, rather then hard alcohol.
Depending on the corkage fees and prices of the venues house wine it may or may not be cheaper to bring your own alcohol. Also, remember the time and effort it will take to buy and transport the alcohol to the event.
It is more affordable to have a smaller wedding cake with sheet cakes for serving (and your guests will never know).
We can go on and on (and we will next week) about the many choices you can make to keep your wedding in budget. Next week we will discuss the choices you can make to save money on decorating. Until then, happy planning! Stay tuned and stay sane!
Hello, welcome back to Your Perfect Bridesmaid's Wedding Wednesday blog where we share cost saving strategies to have your perfect wedding on a budget.
This week we decided to focus on cost saving tips for your reception as that is the most expensive component of your wedding budget. We will cover the different aspects of your reception over the next few weeks so stay tuned to find some serious saving techniques.
Here at Your Perfect Bridesmaid we firmly believe you can have a wonderful wedding, and not spend a fortune. We also believe that it is very important to set a realistic budget and stick to it so that you aren’t starting your married life in debt because of your wedding. The wedding is one day, your marriage is for forever.
What type of reception?
In our last blog we talked about how to sit down with your fiancé and discuss what was important to each of you in the wedding and to budget accordingly. Hopefully that conversation yielded an answer on what type of reception you were going to have. We find that many couples want the traditional sit down dinner reception. This traditional style reception is of course the most expensive. However, given our current economy, and the ever so common presence of student loans and existing credit card debt, we are finding that more and more couples are getting creative with the type of reception they have in order to save money. This movement is really a return to the type of weddings our grandparents had – and who doesn’t love vintage chic!
Some ideas to really save on your reception include:
An elegant champagne and cake reception following your ceremony. Splurging on a great cake and slightly sweet bubbly will add a stylish simplicity to your affair. If you are getting married in a church you can rent out the church hall, for much less then a traditional venue. We also love this type of wedding in a rose garden. You can step it a bit by offering tea sandwiches, and crudités. Think tea length gowns, peep toe shoes and pearls. Envision simple bouquets tied with ribbon, men in brown or grey suits and a subtle three piece string band quietly serenading your group.
Friday night tapas and sangria party. It you want to add a little spice to your reception book a venue for Friday night, with an 8:00 start time. Tapas, or kicked up appetizers, are a fun way to offer delicious food, and keep the prices down. Sangria is one of the most economical ways to offer alcohol. To make this delicious drink simply pick up some cheap wine (red or/and white) and add some brandy, and juice. Throw in some cinnamon sticks and top with sliced oranges, and lemons. Feel free to get creative. You can pick up some fun jars at Ikea and presto you are done. Another benefit to this type of party is that you can create a fun, elegant party using reds and blacks, colors most venues have on had, thus eliminating extra rental costs. Get your girlfriends together to make tissue paper flowers, and buy traditional Spanish fans to incorporate into your décor. Black lacquered vases, red flowers and amber candles would be romantic and sultry.
Courthouse wedding and dinner for 30 out on the town. While some couples wish to get married in a church, others prefer the simplicity of a courthouse wedding. Remember, it is about you and your groom. For a truly intimate affair, gather your closest family and friends and get married by a judge. The architecture in most court buildings is quite striking and provides a bold, back drop to your wedding. After a simple, heartfelt ceremony, gather your guests and head to one of the many amazing restaurants we are fortunate to have here in Portland for dinner. Many restaurants will allow you to bring in a few extra decorations for such an occasion like professional flower arrangements and candles. We like this type of wedding pared with a gorgeous white/ivory silk ensemble for the bride and a black suit for the groom. Large bouquet of white flowers and hits of gold or silver. Sophisticated, and classic.
We could really go on and on with alternative wedding reception ideas. The key is to accept your budget reality and make the most of what you have. Next week we will discuss the traditional wedding reception and illustrate where and how to save to make that dream come true on your budget.
As always, if you would like to discuss some of the ideas we just shared in person we encourage you to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our initial consultations are always free, and there is never any pressure to commit. We hope you are enjoying the planning process!